Album Review: Imaginaerum

Cavelle Layes, Contributor Ω

Nightwish’s latest release Imaginaerum strays from what is typical of most metal efforts. – Image courtesy of Road Runner Records

Nightwish’s latest foray in the metal genre, Imaginaerum, has stepped away from the many others in their genre, taking a heavier style of metal and spinning it into something that you can dance to.

The music found on Imaginaerum can be best described as something that should be heard in a Cirque Du Soleil performance.

This isn’t an insult. If you’ve ever seen a Cirque Du Soleil performance, you know the musical productions performed behind the scenes of high flying acrobats is actually quite amazing.

It is also however, very theatrical, which is exactly how Nightwish’s latest album comes across.

Every musical piece sounds like it should be the auditory backdrop of an intense play, or Vegas-style show where someone is about to swallow the knife for the grand finale.

The music itself is great, there is a lot of talent throughout the album which is showcased in a number of ways. The band doesn’t stick to the typical drums, guitar and bass but branches out to adapt the fiddle and flute at times.

For songs like “I Want My Tears Back Now,” the band was able to completely change their sound by doing something simple such as showcasing some talented fiddle-playing.

This simple change was able to transform the music from a darker dance style to something more Celtic in nature.

It takes a talented band to be able to take on so many different variations of itself and while it did show the band’s versatility, the downside is that it kept the album from having any kind of flow.

Unlike many other acts within this genre, the vocals do not scream incomprehensible lyrics at you. Lead singer Anette Olzon has a very strong voice, hitting highs and lows perfectly.

The lyrics are dark and poetic and while not spectacular, you may find yourself singing them as the day goes on.

Overall, the album does have some good tracks, but there are too many highs and lows to recommend running out and buying it.

If you happen to be hosting this year’s Halloween party, this album will certainly be a great hit, with songs such as “Storytime” getting people to move.

However, based mostly on the theatrical nature of Imaginaerum, it’s hard to recommend this album for anything more than that.